States Are Going Crazy, as Well as Broke

Arizona and Oklahoma are leaders in both insanity and insolvency
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 10:32 AM CDT
States Are Going Crazy, as Well as Broke
Day Laborers stand along Arizona Ave Wednesday, April 28, 2010 in Chandler, Ariz. Arizona's sweeping immigration bill allows police to arrest illegal immigrant day laborers seeking work on the street.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Tea Partiers may be up in arms over the federal government meddling in their lives and not being able to balance its books, but Gail Collins points out that it's the states that are going into overdrive passing wacky laws (hello, Arizona, Oklahoma!) and whiffing on budget cuts (hello, New York!). "On the surface, it might seem as if we have a pattern here: red states pass crazy laws, while blue states can’t handle money," she writes in the New York Times. "But financial failure is color blind. A few months ago, Oklahoma won the Largest Revenue Shortfall in the Nation title, edging out—yes!—Arizona."

Arizona's so broke it's taken to selling off public buildings—including the capitol building—and leasing them back, she notes, adding that maybe it's the financial pressure driving them to pass an immigration law so draconian not even Jeb Bush likes it, and "a gun control law so unconstitutional it makes the National Rifle Association nervous." (Read more Arizona stories.)

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